The seven-year itch. I'm sure you've heard of it. Social scientists say it's when a married couple's happiness wanes. For many husbands and wives, it includes a sense of monotony, boredom, a lack of fulfillment, passivity, and possibly even divorce.
Maybe like my husband Ted and me, you made it to your eighth anniversary relatively unscathed. It wasn't that there weren't any bumps on the marital road, it's just that with the Lord's help you managed to successfully navigate them ... together.
But do you want to know what I recently learned?
The seven-year itch isn't confined to year seven. The truth is that psychologists can't agree on when this notorious marital phenomenon has the potential to occur. Some have placed it closer to year ten or twelve.
What they can agree on, though, is this: The infamous "itch" is common in marriages.
This past December Ted and I celebrated our twelfth anniversary. A little while later later, we started to notice that we felt less connected, less close. We got along, sure. We still loved each other, yeah. But some of our normal spark was missing.
At first I tried to attribute it solely to our busy schedules, to Ted's demanding job, homeschooling, and our parenting of four kids. While I'm sure these things were contributing factors, the more I thought and prayed about it, the more I realized what the underlying culprit was: We'd lingered too long in a season of what I term "appeasement without pursuit."
What do I mean by that? Well, let's look to the dictionary.